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October 23, 2010


What's all this talk I keep hearing about muslin garb? What's wrong with muslin, and why are conservatives scared of it all of a sudden? Why do they think anybody would wear muslin to hijack a plane, anyway?

What? Oh. Never mind.

In other news, why would Ginni Thomas ask Anita Hill to apologize "for what you did with my husband"? I mean, why "with"? A "high tech lynching" is what you do TO somebody, I should have thought.

On a more recent note, I had to chuckle earlier tonight when John Rawlston commented to Rachel Maddow that Obama is the first speaker he ever heard whip a crowd up into chanting Harry Reid's name.


It's not the first time.

[...] Ms. Hill said she had a previous but indirect interaction with Ms. Thomas. After Justice Thomas’s book was published [in 2007 --gf], she said, Ms. Thomas told an interviewer that Ms. Hill should apologize. In response, Ms. Hill gave an interview reiterating that she had nothing to apologize for.
Calling up at 7:30 in the morning is a new touch.

I think the US would be better off, if justice Thomas was removed* and Hill was installed in his place.
What makes the 'high-tech lynching' accusation both insidious and ludicrous is that Hill also shows some signs of pigmentation usually found on the receiving end of such things.
concerning Muslim garb, I'd be concerned, if the line at the airport consisted of sabre wielding Saracens or people wearing the (unmistakable) vesture of Mahdists but I would not be much more comfortable with fully equipped crusaders (all that iron could negatively influence the flight performance of the plane). I wonder how the 9/11ers got through the controls considering the outlandisg stuff they wore (Yes, I know, check-in counters were manned by incompetent evil liberal big government types).

*his now documented secret meetings with certain groups would imo at least justify an investigation into whether there is 'suspicion/appearance of inappropriate behaviour'.

Uh, re Merle Haggard's pic: So he used to be married to Kris Kristofferson, then Robert Duvall?

I'm pretty sure "Muslim Garb" means "Muslim Looking" which generally means "black or brown, and not speaking English".

In short, it's the dog-whistle for "Scary brown guy".

"Muslim garb" == sekrit coad for 'could be coming from or going to anyplace from Tunisia to Bangladesh"...ans sooper-sekrit for "looks like an Arab!!1"

Kind of also how you used to hear reports of Mexican killer bees coming in swarms from south of the border, and have it come across as being prescient of illegal immigrants, so that to some, killer bees = illegal immigrants. Or something like that. So "Muslim garb" now equals "Arab," or even more, "brown person who doesn't speak English and who likes blowing stuff and people up."

That and the revelation that "the Hag" was married to first Kris, then Bob Duvall, and you have to reconsider what it was you thought you knew. In Merle's case though, come to think of it...he sort of has that forlorn look about the eyes like the son in the Great Santini...

This is the sort of thing I missed for not watching Voyager. I had no idea Prince Abdullah had done a guest spot! Now he's the King of Jordan and married to one of the most beautiful women in the world. See? It does pay to be a Trekkie!

I agree with Juan Williams that political correctness paralyzes us from speaking the truth.

For example, when I board a plane, I'm scared crapless of the people wearing Republican Party garb.

I begin to worry that they want to kill me by making health insurance inaccessible or unaffordable or, if I am able to secure the insurance, by canceling the policy altogether.

I think of all the other normal Americans on all of the other planes who might be in harm's way from Republican terrorists, not to mention all of the people below, working in tall buildings, who might have their lives endangered as the terrorists destroy the safety net.

If Republican fat-f#ck Roger Ailes is on the plane, I have more mundane worries, such as hoping the flightcrew is going to reapportion the weight distribution, by moving everyone else and their carryons to the other side of the plane to prevent the craft from flipping in mid-air.

It's funny, though, I'm not alarmed by the presence of full-figured liberals on airplanes.

When I see a guy in Republican garb talk on his cellphone as we sit on the runway, my heart jumps, I order three or four drinks, and worry that there's a big bomb planted somewhere in one of my money market funds.

If Juan Williams boarded the plane, I'd wonder why Stokely Carmichael is traveling first class and why is he wearing Michelle Obama's dress.

When Clarence Thomas headed up equal opportunity efforts for the Reagan Administration, I thought it was enlightened of him to make sure that all female Federal employees, regardless of race or creed, were supplied one of his pubic hairs with their beverages. I mean, does Ginni Thomas think she's special or something?

In closing, I've always felt badly that Merle Haggard's former wife Kris Kristofferson was so hurt by Haggard's little fling with Johnny Cash.

"Uh, re Merle Haggard's pic: So he used to be married to Kris Kristofferson, then Robert Duvall?"


Though never should it be said that the Oxford comma stands in the way of gay marriage.

Wall Street Pay Is Rising Fast. Obviously, the country is doing great!

[...] The government reported this week that the real wage and salary income of finance industry employees based in Manhattan rose nearly 20 percent in the first quarter of this year. [...] As can be seen in the accompanying graphic, the average financial industry employee earned just over $100,000 in the first three months of the year, a figure that was up sharply from the same period of 2009 but still below the payouts in the previous three years.

The fact that those averages include bank tellers and trading desk clerks, as well as senior investment bankers, shows just how large many of the bonuses were. [...] In the first quarter, only 4.6 percent of the finance workers in the country worked in Manhattan. But they received 14.7 percent of the income paid to all finance workers — giving the average Manhattan worker income about three times as large as the overall figure.

Since income inequality doesn't matter, we must all be rich! Yay!

I trust everyone is keeping up to some degree with the WikiLeaks saga.

Mo Rocha, panelist on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" observed that one day the military rejects gay soldiers and the very next day the military wants gay soldiers.

He said the military may be bi-sexual.

That joke alone deserves a rebuke from Jim DeMint, the noted eunuch, and the total defunding of NPR.

The monies should be transferred to the bi-sexual military to support Joe Miller's East German plan to assault and arrest all journalists on American soil.

Mo Rocca

All those pictures of Muslim garb, and they didn't Google "muslim bikini" for additional entries. Such a loss. Could have been even more of an eye-opener for some of the bigots. (Well a physical eye-opener, if not an intellectual one.)

That would be a burquini which is seldom seen on airplanes (except maybe in the in-flight movie).
I don't know about the sexual orientation of the military but North Korea is officially gay on the net (NK's Facebook page identifies the country as male and seeking males. Rachel Maddow has something about that on her show some time ago).

is a burquini???

Robert Duvall! Who knew?

"(NK's Facebook page identifies the country as male and seeking males."

I see no official page for North Korea on Facebook. I see three private pages on the country, run by individuals, one of which label it as a page for Museum / Attraction, the second of which is for products, and the third of which is just a general site. None, of course, gives a gender. Pages for non-people don't give genders.

If you can give the URL of the Facebook page you say exists, that would be helpful. Otherwise I'm apt to suspect that it isn't true.

Do you have a Facebook account, Hartmut?

I'm not sure why this is an argument for the serial comma being good in general. If Haggard had only been married once, would it be an argument for NOT using the serial comma? After all, you don't want to write...

"Among those interviewed were his ex-wife, Kris Kristofferson, and Robert Duvall."

Merle Haggard's ex-wife is Kris Kristofferson? Oh no! Damn you, serial comma!

Seriously, it's just a matter of taste, or, if you work in publishing, your house style guide. Neither way is more logical or less ambiguous than the other.

OK Gary. You want pet peeves? Here's a pet peeve.

You buy something - often an electronic device of some kind. They want you to register it, or you call for customer support, and they want the serial number.

Fair enough, but why do some manufacturers put the #@@%*ing serial number in some inaccessible part of the product, in microscopic type, and in the middle of a bunch of other cryptic codes and and numbers, any one of which might be the serial number?

Here's a suggestion, manufacturers. Put the serial number on a plate whose color contrasts with that of your product. Make it big enough to be easily readable, label it "serial number," and put in a prominent place. Oh, and don't make it so long either. You're not numbering the atoms in the universe.

OK. That's it.

Neither way is more logical or less ambiguous than the other.

I don't know about that. The sentence I use when advocating for use of the serial comma is this: "The greatest influences in my life have been my parents, Jesus Christ and Mother Theresa." I never get an objection after that.

"Fair enough, but why do some manufacturers put the #@@%*ing serial number in some inaccessible part of the product, in microscopic type, and in the middle of a bunch of other cryptic codes and and numbers, any one of which might be the serial number?"

Look into who's really behind the optometry conspiracy! Follow the money!

Well, at least he only had two ex-wives, even if they WERE guys.

When I was an editor, I was fanatical about serial commas; still am. Otherwise, you end up saying guys like Merle Haggard had two ex-wives who were not only guys, but actors.

On the other hand, too many commas spoil the broth and the story. Once had a sports stringer, and I started editing everything he wrote by searching and replacing to remove all commas. It was easier and faster to put back the few that were actually called for than delete the unnecessary ones one-by-one.

Alas, I don't have time to get into a serious debate on the serial/Oxford comma, but I've just moved my moved from November 3rd to November 11th, since various matters have cropped up to delay details, and I was starting to panick over time pressure.

I'm now less panicky and pressured, but still not able to contribute much writing time, I'm afraid.

I'd want a good reason to not identify the ex-wife by name, though: is she in Witness Protection?

These warlog stories are amazing. I don't have time to write a post commenting, but so much astounding stuff!

Evaluating The Surge confirms the narrative people like Eric and myself and others here have provided, IMO.

The contractor abuse is everything you ever imagined.

The civilian deaths.

Must reads.

Gary, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/38824724#38824724>here is the link to the Maddow clip on NK coming out on facebook. Or simply google north korea gay facebook. Since this was in August NK may have simply dropped it in the meantime.
I am not on facebook and do not intend to go there.

Hartmut, I'm kinda uninterested in spending time watching tv to not get a non-existent URL. But thanks.

Setting aside that countries don't have Facebook pages, the kind of pages that are done on topics are universally readable by everyone. Even if a page was for FB members only, you could still give the URL.

Here's a story, but the URL they give is dead.

But, okay, I've now, feeling obligated to determine the truth, gone and watched your cited Maddow video, which I loath doing, because it's literally more than ten times slower than reading, and now I'm getting to the part where they're explaining how the North Korean government also says they have no such page, and various analysts explaining how the government hadn't put up some pages, it was just some random supporters somewhere. Basically, they re-explained, what I've already explained. So you already knew this.

So now I've wasted some 20+ minutes on this nonsense to make sure it really truly was untrue.

It's just that Maddow couldn't help delivering the joke, and then spending some time laughing about how it wasn't true, but should be, hahaha. And you apparently watched the whole thing, including the second half, where they brought in the correspondent to explain it wasn't really North Korea that put up the page, etc.

Well, that's half an hour or so I won't get back.

"I am not on facebook and do not intend to go there."

It's not a big thing, but I find that passing along information about topics I don't know anything about isn't always helpful.

What's clear from this and the other stories is that some North Korean supporters somewhere have been putting up some North Korean supporter stuff on the internet, specifically with a YouTube Channel, a Twitter account, and that now deactivated (because it violated FB TOS, obviously) FB account.

Uriminzokkiri is described as a North Korean "media outlet."

Alternatively, this claims it's as close as NK comes to having an "official" web page.

This all still seems to boil down to a lot of what's at best a very tiny story that was mostly a joke for the comedy/news shows, but thanks.

Look, more murderous vermin in Republican garb:


He's due to board a plane heading for Washington D.C. in early November, if intelligence reports are correct.

I surely won't make a post of this, because I neither desire to have an interblog fight, nor, frankly, the time to read every single comment at this Balloon Juice thread, and the culture there is, no offense intended, sufficiently involuted ethat I'm not comfortable making any kind of big thing in a place I know means well, but has a sufficiently complex internal culture that I know I'm not very familiar with it.

But. Since when did it become acceptable to toss around the term "lawn jockey" when criticizing an African-American? And since when did liberals start becoming oblivious to racist stereotypes, and the reasons to avoid using them? Yikes.

(That's a rhetorical question: yes, there have always been stupid liberals, liberals being people and all.) (I am not calling DougJ stupid!)

And it's one thing to wrong-foot, we all do that -- but another to dig in.

In the context of the sentence, I think "lawn jockey" is supposed to be a jab at FOX News's tokenism in having Williams on the air. I think DougJ is employing it ironically. Or "ironically," take your pick.

I haven't the faintest doubt that DougJ's intentions were good. And I do think I understand exactly how he intended to use the phrase.

I think it was a poor decision, but having said that, I'm done.

Ok, I'll add that in any situation where I think someone has made a poor decision over a choice of words, the sooner you cauterize it, the better, but now I'm done.

For now.

I suspect that DougJ is just a typical white person, doing the things that typical white people do.

Kind of also how you used to hear reports of Mexican killer bees coming in swarms from south of the border, and have it come across as being prescient of illegal immigrants, so that to some, killer bees = illegal immigrants.

Ever see the old movie "The Swarm"? The so-called killer bees were/are hybridized with African honey bees (they're sometimes called "Africanized bees"). In the movie's dialogue, though, the characters frequently referred to them simply as "the Africans". Oh no, it's the Africans! There's a point at which something stops even being subtext.


Direct dialogue from the trailer (Irwin Allen!):

Pilot: "We have direct visual contact."

Ground: "Identify!"

Pilot: "A black mass, sir! A moving black mass!"

Michael Caine: "We are being invaded! By an enemy far more lethal! Than any human force!"

Oh, good god, Henry Fonda in a wheel chair. I'd almost forgotten how amazingly awful this picture was.

"It is more than speculation! It is a prediction! The Swarm is coming!"

When did Lindsay quit ObWi?

Honestly, I'm losing track of the roster here.

"When did Lindsay quit ObWi?"

You'd have to ask her. She's never said anything to anyone on the collective, so far as I'm informed or aware. (All my knowledge on this is second-hand, but apparently that's true of everyone but Lindsay; my senior co-bloggers, or, obviously, Lindsay, should correct me if I'm misinformed.)

If you want the date of her last post, you can hunt it up in the archives.

The current sidebar, on the left sidebar, is now up to date. The bloggers here at the moment, not counting guests, are, in alphabetical order:
# Doctor Science
# Eric Martin
# Gary Farber
# Jacob Davies
# russell
# Sebastian H

Expect more additions whenever they can be successfully struck on the head with sufficient force to be dazed enough to agree.

And, no, collectively we don't add up to Hilzoy. We don't replace her. We simply miss her, and she inspires us.

Meanwhile, do feel free to use open threads to ask questions, criticize the blog-owners, make suggestions, complaints, requests, or whatever metacommentary you like, in addition to anything else. One of my own goals is to increase ObWi's transparency.

""Among those interviewed were his ex-wife, Kris Kristofferson, and Robert Duvall."

Merle Haggard's ex-wife is Kris Kristofferson? Oh no! Damn you, serial comma!"

Actually, the commas tell you his ex-wife is _not_ Kris Kristofferson. If it were, the sentence would read:

"Among those interviewed were his ex-wife Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall."

The actual sentence used, you'll see in the image in the post, is "Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall."

This is an avoidable ambiguity.

Yes, the serial comma can, in certain cases, also provide ambiguity.

No, the serial comma should not be used mechanically; there are no "rules" of English that apply in all circumstances; English is not a programming language.

But more often than not the serial comma eliminates ambiguity, and it's, in my view, the preferable default, save, obviously, in cases where it's not the better choice.

I could point to some longer elaborations by others who hold my view, if anyone is sufficiently interested.

Mostly the serial comma gets argued about by us copyediting types because it's fun and a shibboleth.

See? It does pay to be a Trekkie!

As ZZ Top says, every girl's crazy 'bout a Star Trek fan.

"Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall."

This is not a matter of serial commas, but of careless writing. What about:

"Among those interviewed were Kris Kristofferson, Robert Duvall, and Haggard's two ex-wives."

You can leave out the comma after "Duvall," if you like.

More Republican vermin heading for D.C. on airplanes:


I don't know if anyone will catch this on this thread, but I've been told by a friend that he couldn't get to ObWi via iPad; has anyone else either had this problem, or read ObWi successfully via iPad?

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